Reservoir rock and fluid sample testing is one of the traditional modes for formation evaluation, but like others (e.g. wireline geophysics, well testing, subsurface geologic mapping, etc.) it is one that has benefited from recent advances in laboratory methodologies and instrumentation. Before the final chapter on this subject is written, however, some enormous problems have to be faced and resolved. For example, it is mentioned in this paper that a major obstacle to obtaining credible formation evaluation information from core and fluid studies has to do with the integrity of the sampling procedure itself. Are enough samples routinely taken? Are they big enough, representative enough? And how can the in situ reservoir characteristics be maintained and sustained prior to and during subsequent laboratory testing? In the final analysis, however, it is shown that even when the various sampling problems are solved, questions will still remain about how to strike a cost-effective balance between getting rough information quickly and cheaply versus resorting to more expensive and time-consuming laboratory testing as the way to reduce noise-to-signal problems in data recording and interpretation.

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